Will the omicron variant get us to herd immunity? A local doctor weighs in.

ATLANTA — The omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads so quickly that doctors say it’s likely that everyone gets it at some point.

But as many people look ahead to herd immunity and hope it may bring an end to the pandemic, some doctors say it may not be the end people are hoping for.

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Dr. Jayne Morgan, the Executive Director of COVID-19 Task Force at Piedmont, says reaching herd immunity doesn’t mean we can take the gas pedal off of getting people vaccinated.

“We certainly still want to continue to encourage the unvaccinated to become vaccinated because we know this is the population where we get these mutations and these variants, and it’s the variants that are driving subsequent booster shots for the vaccinated,” Dr. Morgan said.


Another aspect Dr. Morgan says people should be concerned about is people who are achieving native immunity.

She says that those with native immunity are not vaccinated, but have been infected with the virus, giving them a short term immunity, but it’s unclear how long that immunity lasts.

“As we all push towards herd immunity, if we’re counting native and vaccine, it’s unclear what that population means when it’s mixed,” she said.

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Dr. Morgan added that top priority remains getting as many people as possible vaccinated to reduce the risk of the virus continuing to evolve.